New engine but where to start...

Hello

Well I picked up a DSS 347 stroker short engine at the weekend and a pair of Performer RPM heads :) Now I have them in my garage I'm a little unsure on how to proceed, I have ordered a rebuilding booked from real steel but the chap who sold it to me did say it would just cover assembling a standard engine which I guess mine is not...ultimately I would like circa 400bhp and intend to use a Holley carb though this may initially need very modest tuning for IVA I believe?

The spec of my engine are as follows:

1987 302 based DSS 347 Stroker roller cam short engine
Forged floating pin pistons
Forged I beam rods
Stroker crank
Girdle on the mains
Ford racing roller cam
Flywheel counter weight required 28oz
Balancer counter weight required 28oz
Piston fly cut: twisted wedge / inline
Piston design: dish
Pair of Edellbrock Performer RPM aluminium heads with 2.02" intake valves
Comp Cams Magnum roller rocker arms

Block is new and never run, but heads have done approx 200 miles on a different block.

This it what it started as:
Small Block Ford Pro Bullet Short Block

I will not be needing the engine for some time but would like to build it up slowly and get it right first time. Initially I would like to mount the heads and sump to seal up the engine from dust etc but even this seems to be a challenge with many many options.

So question, question, questions...:huh:

1, Which method of securing the heads should I use, I was looking at the ARP head bolt kits but then saw you can also buy stud kits! Now bolts seem the easier cheaper option but is there a reason I should not use them? Also is it better to use 12 point ones over the traditional hex head ones?

2, Which head gasket should I use, don't know where to begin here...

3, I was told to avoid the cork sump gaskets and use a "decent one", again which one?

3, I was also advised by the seller to replace the flywheel and big cog (on other end of block) bolt with ARP ones, are these the only ones that require improving or are ther others and what are the technical terms I could use to search for them as "big cog bolt" is not yielding the results I hoped for.... :embarassed:

4, which inlet manifold do I want, prob going for the RPM Performer again but is the air gap one needed or more desirable?

5, which distributer will I need and what sort of gear for this block, I sure the chap I bought it from said it needs to be something, in order not to damage the engine!

And finally

6, what sort of power should I be able to get from this configuration? :thumbsup:

Anyway pics pics pics!















Thanks in advance.

Paul
 
Last edited:
Hey Paul,
Regarding distributor, I am using one of these: http://www.msdignition.com/Products/Distributors/Ford/Street/Strip/8579_-_Ford_302_Small_Diameter_Pro-Billet_Distributor.aspx

it should help give a bit more clearance to the firewall area. I will have it linked up to a 6AL ignition unit. The gear will depend on the cam you have.

I used bolts on mine and have an Air-Gap manifold, but I brought all this back fromt he US a LONG time ago

As for the bolt, look for damper bolt, I assume that is what the seller meant i.e. the bolts for the timing chain/damper end of the crank

As for power, what is your actual displacement? Head volume? What carb are you running, what type of cam etc etc etc

Brett
 

Mike Pass

Supporter
You should get about 420bhp and 430 ft lbs with a very flat torque curve. The Edelbrock performer RPM heads are good. I have had them on my engine for years. The Performer RPM air gap is worth having. My engine man said it gave about 19bhp over the standard RPM one. It is very slightly taller but fits on a 40 OK. Use a drop base aircleaner to get it as low as possible. I would get a better sump than the standard one. Canton do a nice gated big capacity one which is low line so your sump doesn't stick out at the bottom of the car. You will need a different oil pickup to match.
I would get in touch with your nearest V8 engine builder who has built lots of these motors. You have a lot of money invested and it is sensible to avoid problems when you don't know how the parts will work together. When you have all the bits get him to check everything (such as valve/piston clearance) and build it up with the best bolts and gaskets. He can then run it up on the dyno for you. Also he can set everything up with carb and ignition. Doing this yourself on a new engine is very difficult if not impossible. All will then be correctly set up. Money well spent to ensure you get what you paid for. It will then be ready to fit and go. Plug and play as they say.
If you fit the heads with studs you may not be able to remove the heads in situ as things are tight around the bulkhead on a 40. As you have a mains girdle it may get in the way of your oil dipstick. As has been mentioned choose one of the MSD distributors which is as low line as possible as the dizzy sits under the bulkhead and there is very little space. Make sure the gear on the dizzy is correct for the cam you have fitted - important!
One of these in a 40 will outdrag a Ferrari F430.
Cheers
Mike
 
Hi Paul,
Picking up from what Mike has stated, a few other points:

  • The block may need machining to accept the roller cam follower retainers
  • The crank will need re-balancing with the proposed TV damper, clutch cover & flywheel
  • Check the spec of the Ford Racing cam, specifically the proposed torque curve. Ones I’ve previously looked at produce over 400Hp in one of these engines, but sacrifice the low speed torque (which is what you want for a good street car). Cam selection is critical
  • ARP head bolts will be fine for your proposed output and are a worthwhile investment for the flywheel & TV damper bolts
  • You should be looking at a better sump than the one pictured. A Moroso or similar street/race sump, with baffles & gates will give better protection if you are considering any form of track work

I’ve built a couple of these now and it can be a bit daunting. PM me if you a want a chat regarding options.
Regards,
Andy
 

Mike Pass

Supporter
Check out Martin Gough's build thread Southern GT No 8. Very similar engine spec to what you have. Built and dynoed by Kenny Coleman at Engine Data Analysis in Pontefract Engine Data Analysis "Specialist Engine Building & Tuning"
Very flat torque curve 420bhp 430ft lbs. 300 ft lbs at 1500rpm. Built with an internal balance, one of Mick Sollis's steel flywheels, Holley 650cfm performance double pumper.
Cheers
Mike
 
Here are links to Two of the best oil pan provides for our hobby. Aviaid made the originals back in the day. Armando was a welder for them and started his own business. I use one of Armando's on my 289 Cobra. They are clones of the originals.

http://aviaid.com/



http://aroilpans.com/
 
Last edited:
Great, thank you everyone for your help, given me lots to think about. It seems I do need to find out what cam I have? I have spent a fair bit of time this evening rotating the engine and with a torch looking for any markings or stamps on it but can't see any, there is a bit of blue paint near the dizzy drive and an orange dot about mid way along but that's it? Is there a way of identifying/measuring it with it in the block? Or will it need to be drawn out?
The block def is using roller cam followers though as I can see them..

Cheers
 
It might be worth contacting DSS with the engine number and see if they have a record of the build up inc the cam. Is this the engine that was on rodsnsods Paul?

Bob
 
It might be worth contacting DSS with the engine number and see if they have a record of the build up inc the cam. Is this the engine that was on rodsnsods Paul?

Bob
Yes that's the one, I will contact DSS but think it came from them as a short block minus the cams etc, the chap I bought it from got it as part of a bulk but of fox mustang and bits so did not fit it himself. Got the lot for only just over 3k so hopefully a good deal?
 
You really do need to know what spec the cam is before you build up and fit the engine . If you need to borrow a degree wheel and gauge let me know and I will post it to you.

Bob
 
Hi Bob,

Just been told it is an F303 cam and Andy is very kindly looking into its suitability for me:thumbsup: thanks very much for the kind offer of the measuring tool but hopefully I won't need it now.

It's a steep learning curve this, but All good fun:laugh:

Paul
 
I have built several smallblock Ford motors. Your parts lot looks like a decent starting point. Whoever built up the short-block probably took good care of the machine work, but you should double check a couple things. Most 5.0 blocks need the lower part of the cyl bores clearanced to allow for the increased stoke of a 347. Just double check to make sure you have proper clearance. If you see the 'notches' on the lower part of the cyl, then you are probably ok.

Those are pretty good heads, but you should double check the rockers will work with your cam. If your keeping a roller cam (most 5.0), then you should be very carefull. Those look like crane roller-tip rockers are are ok for mild street perf. If I was building a 400hp motor, I would probably upgrade to full roller rockers.

This is minor, but the 5.0 cams have a different firing order than most smallblocks. Most 289/302 sb Fords will be 15426378. The 5.0, 5.0ho and 352 have a different firing order. The cams will interchange, but it can be a headache if your not sure what you have.

+10 on the ARP bolts. I personally would not use studs for a motor like this.

Just get a good Fel-Pro gasket set. It will come with the head gaskets you need. Throw the cork gaskets in the trash. On the intake manifold, you should use only the two side gaskets (head to intake). Most kits come with two cork pieces to seal the front and rear. DO NOT USE THESE. Just use oil resistant silicone and a good clean surface.

Last point: With an unknown motor combination, make sure to double check your valve to piston clearance before bolting on the heads. You can use some soft clay on top of the piston, that will compress and give you a good clearance to measure.
 
Great reply, thanks. The rockers are these ones:

Comp Cams Magnum Roller Tip Rocker Arms | Northern Auto Parts

Any good?

And the block is one of these:

Small Block Ford Pro Bullet Short Block

So all Machining has been done and I can see the notches you mention, I have also emailed DSS who confirmed there should be no clearance issues whis this set up in fact they said even their flat top pistons would be fine (mine are dished) but I will prob check to be sure, the chap I bought it from mentioned the clay trick too.

Thanks

Paul
 

Howard Jones

Supporter
OH, oh.........You say the pistons are dished? The link you provided says that the dished pistons are to lower compression for boosted applications. If so they might be as low as 8 to 1 depending on head combustion chamber size. On the other hand you might be fine if the combustion chamber in the heads is smaller to accommodate the low compression pistons.

If so this would be a weird combination but in any case you really need to find out what the compression ratio of your combination is before you go a lot farther.

If in fact you have a low compression motor ment for boost then you will not be happy when it just doesn't make as much power as you were anticipating.

Call the builder up and ask how you can tell what pistons are in the block and then what the resulting compression ratio is based on head CC's. You will want about 9.5 to 1 for a nice pump gas motor.

Then ask which head you should use based on combustion chamber size (in CC's) to get about 10 to 1. 9.8 is just as good as is 10.2 so don't get to worked up over this number as long as you are above 9 and below 10.5 to 1 for pump gas.

I think flat top pistons with a 60cc head is right at 9 to 1 CR.
 
Got me worying now:sad: I'm using Performer RPM heads so 60cc chambers, if I'm reading this correctly I should be ok?....

The -18 dish will give me a CR of 9.20, any good?? :stunned:

 
Last edited:

Steve

Supporter
Paul,

9.2 will be OK, you'd probably make a little more power if you were at 10:1. It is worth double checking to make sure. Tom or Eric at DSS are very approachable and good guys. The Magnum roller rockers are OK, but you'd be better served with a true roller rocker. It seems that SBF are very unforgiving if the valvetrain isn't up to the demands of the cam.
 
Paul,

9.2 will be OK, you'd probably make a little more power if you were at 10:1. It is worth double checking to make sure. Tom or Eric at DSS are very approachable and good guys. The Magnum roller rockers are OK, but you'd be better served with a true roller rocker. It seems that SBF are very unforgiving if the valvetrain isn't up to the demands of the cam.
Thanks, I had a chat with the chap at Road Craft today and he agreed that dependant on the cam 9.2 would be ok too. The person I bought the block and heads from did say they weren't the best rockers so they are something I may look into changing but they are well down the list for now...
 
Paul I am not so sure that with the cam and compression you have the motor will make that 400hp. There is plenty of meat on the heads so it might pay to have them cut to reduce chamber volume. There is a chart kicking about somewhere that will give you the relevant amount to skim off the inlet to keep it all in line.

Bob
 
Paul I am not so sure that with the cam and compression you have the motor will make that 400hp. There is plenty of meat on the heads so it might pay to have them cut to reduce chamber volume. There is a chart kicking about somewhere that will give you the relevant amount to skim off the inlet to keep it all in line.

Bob
Hmmm something that will need looking into, is it specifically the F303 cam with that compression that could cause loss, ie is changing the cam a possibility? Skimming the head is an option that I had not thought of so another possible avenue if this does prove to be an issue, or changing the pistons which I guess is ultimately the best solution but probably the most pricey. I have emailed Tom at DSS so hopefully he will advise on this too.

Thanks
 
Hmmm something that will need looking into, is it specifically the F303 cam with that compression that could cause loss, ie is changing the cam a possibility? Skimming the head is an option that I had not thought of so another possible avenue if this does prove to be an issue, or changing the pistons which I guess is ultimately the best solution but probably the most pricey. I have emailed Tom at DSS so hopefully he will advise on this too.

Thanks
Its more the fact that it amounts to a low compression 350 cu ford bottom end. If you look at the various head swap posts on similar stock engines they sort of hover around the 280 to 300hp figure and thats magazine/happy HP figures.
We Install Edelbrock's New XT Cylinder Heads in a 351W Engine - Hot Rod Magazine

Bob
 
Top